When it comes to maintaining food systems during the pandemic, Africa may have some advantages over other parts of the world such as its relatively younger workforce and more robust urban and small-scale agriculture. Nonetheless, it will certainly face significant challenges in the coming months that will require thoughtful attention from policymakers.

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Early warning systems for famines – and associated emergency food provisioning systems – will have to be adjusted to increase attention on urban areas. These initiatives traditionally focus on rural areas and food crises precipitated by droughts or insect infestations. They are much less effective at monitoring reduced food access in urban areas due to declining incomes.

A big part of efforts must also be focused on stemming the spread of COVID-19 itself. Crucial preventative measures – from promoting hand-washing and social distancing to imposing restrictions on gatherings and movement – will be essential to slowing the impacts of the virus including on food systems and producers.

In this, it will be important to recognise the capacity of African governments. While South Korea’s response to the crisis is commendable, it may not be a realistic model for most states on the continent.

Some government capacity could be enhanced if debt service is suspended and COVID-19 related multilateral assistance come without unnecessary strings attached. Renewed calls for structural reforms in a period of crisis are not helpful. More broadly, the global community must realise we are all in this together. While it will be tempting for some countries in the Global North to look inwards as they deal with their own crises, disease and associated food insecurity rarely respect international boundaries.

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Finally, existing problems will persist during the COVID-19 crisis and still have to be addressed., Many African governments will have to continue dealing with ongoing challenges such as the desert locust infestation in East Africa. These crises must continue to receive the attention they deserve if domestic food production is to be maintained.

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https://i2.wp.com/farmerstrend.co.ke/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/coronavirus-on-agriculture.jpg?fit=650%2C419&ssl=1https://i2.wp.com/farmerstrend.co.ke/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/coronavirus-on-agriculture.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1#FarmersTrend#TrendingWhen it comes to maintaining food systems during the pandemic, Africa may have some advantages over other parts of the world such as its relatively younger workforce and more robust urban and small-scale agriculture. Nonetheless, it will certainly face significant challenges in the coming months that will require thoughtful...New generation culture in agriculture